Allocating Federal Funds for State Programs for English Language Learners

Produced by National Research Council of the National Academies

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Description

The U.S. Department of Education estimates the general school-age population has grown 3 percent in the last decade, while the number of English language learner students has risen 60 percent, to nearly 4.5 million students nationwide.

Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act allows the U.S. Education Department to use either Census or state data to identify the number of English language learners and immigrant students in each state in order to allocate Title III funds to support these students. The funding allocation is based on an established formula. Yet, the two data sources used to allocate funds produce dramatically different results. Which is more accurate? Which is more fair?

This national study calls for federal policymakers to change the funding formula for identifying students with limited English proficiency.

The U.S. Department of Education commissioned the National Research Council to conduct this study and produce the final report. WestEd’s Robert Linquanti, Director of the English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support project and Senior Researcher for the Regional Educational Laboratory West and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, served on the panel.

An excerpt of the report is also available.

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